Thursday, 30 April 2009

Hot Dog, Jumping Frog, Albuquerque

It’s been a funny old week; with a thousand and one things buzzing through my head and banging themselves repeatedly on the glass in an attempt to get outside. None have really settled.

That’s the problem sometimes when you’ve posted something you were very pleased with, like when I wrote the short story about Lois Lane – how the hell do you follow that?

So this week, where I had originally planned to bring you a short story I have in mind, I have instead decided to just muse on a few of the random thoughts that have rattled around the cavernous and mostly empty inner recesses of my brain and see if anything hits a familiar nerve.

Like music. I was thinking this week that the music industry needs a right kick up the arse. For years now it’s been complaining that music pirates and free downloads are ruining the music industry, when what they actually mean is that it’s cutting into their profits. Sadly they are almost entirely wrong.

What’s changed is our perception of music and how we interact with it: when I first started buying music it meant a half hour trip into town on the bus, followed by a walk around the shops looking for the best price, taking your 12” of vinyl home, placing it into your dad’s record player (basically a box with two knobs on the front), discovering their was a scratch on track 8 or that it was warped and repeating the process ad infinitum. By the time you finally had a record that worked you were determined to give it time to grow on you no matter what. Whereas today, when we can download whole albums from our computer we are far less inclined to give time to those 24 minute experimental jazz tracks we would have previously described as “a brave attempt to do something different”. Because it is less tangible, we are less affected by it. Still: now that we’re officially in a recession there should be something for the teenagers of today to actually moan about and, hopefully, a couple of new bands worth talking about.

Secondly, and still on the subject of music, I’ve been worrying about that woman off Britain’s Got Talent: Susan Boyle.

By now there will be few people outside of Martians and un-contacted tribes of the Upper Amazon who have not heard of her – but for anyone who doesn’t know Susan Boyle may well be the long-lost twin sister of Oscar The Grouch from Sesame Street and have been abandoned as a child and raised by wild Badgers…at least that’s what I assume from her personal grooming. Susan arrived on BGT wearing a dress that looked like it had been made from an old tent and surprised everyone on the planet by not sounding like a foghorn that had been dropped down the steps of a lighthouse.

All fair to her: and you shouldn’t go judging people on how they look – but I wonder at how much of this was set up for us as viewers. Did Simon Cowell know she sounded like that before hand? Very probably. What worries me more is that on these talent shows there is now a fad for people going on, being rubbish, and then shouting abuse back at the judges. It’s as if it’s equally good to be famous for being useless as it is for actually achieving something – as long as the end goal of being famous for fifteen minutes is achieved. I wonder what kind of moral yard stick we are setting for ourselves.

Thirdly: Swine Flu. Very serious, but I refuse to join the masses and start panicking every time someone pulls out a tissue. True: lots of people are very ill and some have died – possibly more: but it’s all just pissing into the Nile when you compare it to the amount of kids that die from malaria EVERY DAY in Africa. Maybe we need some perspective before jumping on the next Panic Bandwaggon?

Also: I was thinking about how photo-booths are no fun anymore now that they’ve gone digital. Back In The Day you used to have to sit there for four separate photos when you wanted to get a new passport – the only plus being that you could crowd all your mates into the booth for the last frame and take a fun picture. Now that the digital image is re-produced four times exactly the same we have lost our chance to do this: maybe I should start a campaign to bring them back?

I’ve also embarked on my latest madcap scheme and – being me – have attempted to start by throwing myself into the deep end marked “shark infested”

I won’t go into the details here – as you can view my “open letter to” on my new sister-site “Houses In Motion”, but if any of you would like to help I present the song titles below and you may feel free to comment on any or all of the below as to what immediate images spring to mind

Everyone Thinks He Looks Daft
What Did Your Last Servant Die Of?
Don't Be So Hard
A Million Miles
All This and More
Getting Nowhere Fast
My Favourite Dress
Something and Nothing
It's What You Want That Matters
Give My Love to Kevin
Anyone Can Make a Mistake
You Can't Moan, Can You?
All About Eve
Nobody’s Twisting Your Arm

I set up the second blog because I wanted to keep my arts projects separate from my usual random musings, but you should probably understand that it will be updated less often than this one.

I’ve also been thinking about my upcoming course in just under 2 weeks time (more of which after the event) and been looking forward to some cycling over the upcoming Bank Holiday – assuming it doesn’t rain.

Additionally I’ve been thinking about getting my hair cut again: but am not happy with my barber, as they have imposed an appointments-only scheme on Saturdays. It is against the fundamental laws of nature for men to make hairdresser’s appointments: one should turn up, assess the queue and then either sit there for hours reading magazines one has no interest in or go home and try again the next week: this is The Nature Of Things
Finally I have been continuing to attempt to write my novel, but struggling with writer’s block. My way through this at present is to try and sit down at least 2-3 times a week and write something – even if the end result is rubbish I should still have a starting block from which to run. To additionally try and break the stress of finishing what has increasingly become known as That Damned Novel I have started some work on my next project so that I can switch when I get really, really stuck.

So – that’s what’s been going through my head. Feel free to feedback on these thoughts or provide your own random dialogue on your lives. Sorry it’s been so random, but I’m sure you’re used to that by now!


Argent said...

I think you're right about the music. it's like a lot of things these days: instant. I Want It All and I Want it Now. We live in a throwaway society in so many ways. Mind you, the accessibility of music may lead us to try new stuff simply because it's easy to get at and thus our musical menu may be enhanced.

I wonder if we'll even be talking about Swine Flu in a few months. Anyone remember SARS?

I enjoyed this blog, random as it was. I was thinking about doing one like this a while back but side tracked into doing Bus-Ride to Lemmingsville instead.

Friko said...

About writing: is there any reason why you can't start, abandon, take up again, one or more pieces of work? Any number of things can be done concurrently, something's bound to get finished eventually.

Bit like dropping making you first million and starting on the second?

raccoonlover1963 said...

Hi Pixie
Thanks for the visit this morning. Yes, I like the peacock feathers too. Animals and scenery are my stronger points. I have decided to just leave human photography alone, unless they happen to be with an animal, but it seems that the shots come out better if the subject doesn't know they are being photographed!
I really must check out a video of this Susan Boyle. I have seen pictures of her all over the internet, but have not seen any performances.
Take care and have a great weekend.

Don't Feed The Pixies said...

Argent - i think the solution needs to come from people embracing the internet and finding a way to make it work for them, rather than against.

Friko - if you look at the dates when Steven King started and finished his novels a lot of them overlap: so he must have been working on several at the same time. So i guess there's no reason as long as you know where you're going with each.

Lisa - thanks for the visit. You should have a listen. Despite the scary eyebrows she has a cracking voice

the watercats said...

Music today!.. pah! don't get me started! Yes, I miss the actual physical presence of music, (Although we don't have an ipod, we still have c.d's), but there was something brilliant about having a whole wall dedicated to music, when the actual weight of music stuff could cause you injury. As for t'internet thing, I hate to say it, but myspace is actually a fantastic tool for anyone who 'does music'. For anyone who loves to listen, there are far more talented musicians on myspce, kicking about in hovels than on the radio. There's a lot of shite too, but when you find a goodun, it's brilliant.

Swine flu, me arse! Another media extravaganza...

I like Shatner as a title, lol!

also enjoyed this post, that's why blogs are great, your mind can do what it wants and people can have an opinion on it, lol!

Anonymous said...

I hope Susan Boyle makes it far. Of course, she's going to face criticism of her looks by a bunch of idiots who think that that's what should make a celebrity, but she can indeed sing. I hope she gets far. (not sounding like a foghorn that had been dropped down the steps of a lighthouse. Lmao!)

You're right about the interaction with music. I still buy songs and albums from iTunes.

From what I've read, 26 people in Mexico died of S. Flu, and about 8 somewhere else. You're right: it's probably not necessary that we run around panicking, but it doesn't hurt to be cautious.

Now let's see here:
1) What Did your last servant die of? I'm not sure, we fired him when he was living.

2)You can't moan, can you? No, I'm usually too busy crying altogether.

3)Everyone Thinks He Looks Daft. You Daft Punk (the electronica duo)?

4)Shatner. You know, he asked to make a cameo appearance in the upcoming film, but the Adult Captain Kirk was killed and producers found it implausible to bring him back.

5)Something and Nothing. The Paradox of life

Don't Feed The Pixies said...

watercats - i agree that myspace and its like is a great tool for musicians: look at the Arctic Monkeys, who launched themselves mostly off internet speculation - i think the problem is it had become ubiquitous!

Samurai - thanks for feeding back on the songs. Interesting point about Shatner - but the man himself "wrote" (ie probably ghost wrote) a series of books where Kirk survives Star Trek: Generations thanks to being reanimated by the Borg.

On the swine flu - that's kinda what i was trying to say. We should obviously be cautious - but panicking like headless chickens (as we appear to be) solves nothing

"Shatner" is my all time favourite lyric, just because it's so totally out there!

pohanginapete said...

I like posts like this: posts that touch on diverse topics and leave the reader to explore further; posts that prompt rather than preach. There's a place for the long exposition — or the long ramble on one theme — but the different styles aren't mutually exclusive. Besides, diversity adds interest.

The only reason I could see to be alarmed about swine flu — oops, I mean influenza A/H1N1 — was the possibility it might mutate into a more virulent strain (as apparently happened with the 1918 pandemic). Now it seems the WHO is indeed pushing that message. I guess the frenzy, although perhaps ill-founded, might prove beneficial in the long run, although I can't see the current strain being effectively controlled — its spread might be slowed, but I have no idea whether that would make mutation to a more virulent form more or less likely. But, given it's apparently a rather mild strain (now), I was kind of hoping I'd get it soon and thereby get my immunity before it turns nasty (again, I don't know whether acquired immunity to the current mild strain would provide a degree of protection against a mutated, more virulent strain).

Don't Feed The Pixies said...

Pete - an interesting perspective on the swine flu (or whatever).

I suspect it will continue to spread for a bit and then peter out and the world's media will find something else to panic about.

It's probably inevitable that sooner or later some virulent disease will come along and wipe out a good number of us, but this still doesn't excuse the panic stations!

Roxanne said...

I find when we write - we tend to measure ourselves by what we HAVEN't done, as opposed to what we have done. Sure, it took me 3 (4??) years to write my novel. and another (ahem!) one year to edit (poor excuse) ... but that's the point, at least I did it. At least you're sitting down and writing. Give yourself credit for that dear pixie man!

Lisa Allender said...

Hi there, Pixies! Stopping in to "catch up" with you....
H1N1 does not worry me in the slightest--your point about malaria-statistics in Africa is well-taken.
Writing--try making a list of what you've ALREADY done, rather than a "To-Do" list when sorting out your tasks for the day, and/or what you're working on in terms of your writing.
Making a "done" list gives you incentive to FINISH!
Susan Boyle? I'm the only person left in the universe who hasn't yet heard her, but I'm going to listen tomorrow morning(a friend sent it to me).G'night, and Peace.